Graduate Fellowship Application

Application Guidelines | Application Checklist


  • January 12, 2024
    Complete applications and reference letters are due by 5 p.m.
  • March 15, 2024
    Notification of awards.
  • July 1, 2024
    Start date for Graduate Fellows.

Application Guidelines

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. on January 12, 2024.
  • Applications should use standard NIH formatting. Failure to adhere to formatting guidelines may negatively impact review or lead to withdrawal of the application.
  • All documents other than the face page should be rolled into a single PDF and uploaded electronically.
  • In their support letters, mentors should address all information requested in the application instructions. Failure to do so may negatively impact the application’s final score.

Any questions regarding the HCC Fellowship program should be directed to

Application Checklist

  • Face page (completed through online application portal)
  • Responses to Previous Critiques (for resubmissions only): Please provide a 1-page response to reviewer critiques from your prior submission of this proposal.
  • Project Summary (350-word limit): Provide a brief summary of the proposal. Include the overall goal and hypothesis being addressed, methodology to be used, and significance to the field and/or clinic. A description of how your goals and proposed project will impact cancer research and/or treatment should also be included.
  • Specific Aims (1-page limit)
  • Research Strategy (3-page limit, excluding literature cited):
    • Significance: Describe the scientific premise for the proposal, including relevant background and scientific rationale for the project.
    • Impact/Innovation: Briefly describe how your goals and the proposed project will impact cancer research and/or cancer treatment.
    • Approach: Describe how the research will be carried out. Include preliminary data that supports the project, a description of methods and analyses to be used, and discussion of potential pitfalls and alternative strategies.
  • Literature Cited: Select only those references pertinent to the proposed research. This is not included in the page limit.
  • Statistical Plan (1/2-page limit): Identify aspects of the proposal that will require statistical evaluation and briefly explain why. Describe your plan for developing an appropriate analysis. For assistance, complete the Biostatistics Resource Request form. Requests must be received at least three weeks before application due date.
  • Proposal Contributions (200 words): Proposals should represent the original work of the student with appropriate but limited guidance from the mentor. Briefly describe the relative contributions made by the student, mentor, and any other individuals to the conceptual design, writing, and revision of this proposal.
  • NIH Biosketch (5-page limit for each): A biosketch is required for the PI and mentor.
  • Required Letters of Support:
    • Two letters of support are required, including one from the current graduate mentor. Please make sure your mentor knows that he or she MUST follow the special instructions for the mentor’s letter of support.
    • Letters should be submitted in confidentiality to by 5 p.m. on January 12, 2024. The subject line should contain "Graduate Fellowship: 'Applicant Name' Letter of Support.”
    • Special instructions for mentor's letter of support
      • The current mentor's letter should address the following:
      • The mentor’s previous training record, including the number of current and previous students and trainees.
      • A list of previous students/trainees and their current positions: name, position in lab, dates of training, current position.
      • An evaluation of the applicant’s potential as a cancer scientist.
      • Specific training plans for the applicant’s development as a cancer scientist.
      • For graduate applications, the mentor must include a statement committing $2,000 to cover student health insurance from either the mentor or the department.